Security Conscious

Home security in today’s internet driven world is not just about keys or locks. Today’s technological homes involve so much more from app’s that communicate with our refrigerator, security cameras, to baby monitors and everything in between.  Smartphones and the internet have changed the way that security for homes should be looked at and protected. The first and probably the most important thing that should be done is to change the password from the factory setting.
Every item that is password protect that comes from the manufacture is set with a password with one of a few; some are 1234, 0000, or 1111. A word to the wise every item that connects to the internet or Wi-Fi has a password and should be changed. Something to consider “Hackers are costing consumers and companies between $375 and $575 billion, annually.” (Risen, 2014). This does not consider events that are not reported, as well as the number of times a video feed is hacked into.
This includes not only passwords for email, bank accounts or debit/credit cards. But also for the home Wi-Fi system, X-box or play station, baby monitors and Yes Even Cell Phones, laptops, home computers, and even if the front door has a keypad that also should be changed on a regular basis. Industry experts suggest picking a day such as your birthday and use that to set a schedule for changing passwords on a routine basis.
A password should be complex, yet simple enough to remember. Another great idea is to create a two (2) step authentication process, in which you enter your password and then you are sent via a text message or email a code that must be entered to gain access to the site. While there is the temptation to write down our passwords, due to so many different sites or apps that we use, they should never be written down. There are programs or apps available that create a “Master” password in which the program creates a master password for all your sites you visit, meaning you only must create and use one password.
The longer the password, the harder it is to crack. Consider a 12-character password or longer. Avoid names, places, and dictionary words. Mix it up. Use variations on capitalization, spelling, numbers, and punctuation.  Some examples are WOO!TPwontSB = Woohoo! The Packers won the Super Bowl!  or 1tubuupshhh…imj = I tuck button-up shirts into my jeans. Another suggestion from experts is to use twelve (12) random words. You can start with a phrase such as; “Even in winter, the dogs party with brooms and neighbor Kit Kats.” When you place this password into a password checker, it will take 238 quadragintillion years of brute force to attack or crack this password.
As Realtors ® we are to help our customers or clients to buy homes at the lowest price and sell at the highest price and help to education them in the process. We also inform them on neighborhood areas, such as grocery stores, schools and places of activities even some agents provide crime statics or location of police stations or fire stations. Why not educate them on how to secure their information or our information especially with the private information we receive from our customers and their lenders and other places.

Buying A Home

When deciding to purchase a home, there are many things you should consider. The best suggestion I would make is to gain as much information as possible about your financial situation. Many people when considering purchasing a new home as a first time buyer often make the mistake of falling for or assuming a lot of myths are true, such as it requires a lot of money for a down payment, or it is cheaper to rent than it is to purchase, or my credit score is not high enough.

What’s the difference between being pre-qualified and pre-approved for a mortgage?
Typically you will first pre-qualify for a mortgage, then get pre-approved before you have found the specific home you wish to purchase. What is the difference?

Pre-qualification: An informal determination by a lender or mortgage broker stating how much mortgage you can afford. Without any supporting documentation.
Pre-approval: A guarantee in writing by a lender to grant you a loan up to a specified amount. With supporting documentation, i.e. pay statements, bank deposits..etc..

Many lenders are eager to work with first time buyers or buyers that have been out of the market for a long time. These lenders will provide valuable information on your specific financial situation, working with you, they will run a credit report which will provide information such as credit score Fair Issac Corporation (FICO) which scores can range from 300 to 850, and just because you have an  850 score doesn’t mean that you have the best score or the worst either, because to each lender uses the score differently and will also consider the fuller picture, such as how many open credit card accounts that is open, car payments, insurance (home and auto), and any of the other myriad of financial information reported on the credit report to include how long you have been on the job, or how long you have lived at your current address.

   They can even help you detect errors on your report, while they may not be able to fix those errors they can direct you on the best possible source to fix those errors, some can be simple to fix and you can report it to the credit agency, others you will need professional assistance (Credit Repair Company). A word of caution here Credit Repair companies are generally honest hard working individuals, and while you may see ad’s that say they will fix your credit for free, this isn’t true, they (the honest ones) will charge you a fee sometimes it is a small fee or it can be several hundred dollars it depends on the complexity of the problem that needs to be fixed on your credit report.

   Depending on the mortgage lender you are working with, most have different and varying programs available to assist you  with purchasing that new home. Programs such as Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Veteran Association (VA), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA/RHS), Conventional loans. Each program has different requirements to qualify for them. Then there are even programs that have down payment assistance, programs that have a 1% down payment, there are fixed rate programs or Adjustable Rate mortgages, there is 15 or 30 year programs. Your lender will help you determine which programs you qualify for and may even suggest which one is best for your situation.

   This is where the fun begins, once you have the knowledge of how much home you can afford, the next step that I would recommend would be to sit down  and write out a Want’s and Need’s list. A list of what you actually have to have in a home (number of  bedroom’s, size of garage..etc.) and things that would be nice if a home happens to have. Sit down with the family, have each to create a list of what they would like to have in their home. Then compile the list’s to create a master list of what is desired in a new home.

   Once you and the family have decided what type of home your family needs, and a long with the information from the lender for how much home you can afford. Then begins the search for a home, while there is hundreds if not thousands of websites available to search for homes, the best would be this has the most accurate and up to date information. Even better is to contact a Real Estate Professional, a Realtor® . Come back tomorrow and find more beneficial information.

Selling your Home

Things we do to assist you in Selling and Marketing your Home:

  • Market Research/ Analysis to position your house at a price to sell.
  • We are a firm with approximately 60 agents eager to sell your home.
  • Actively seek out potential Buyers.
  • Yard Signs
  • Open Houses.
  • Professional Photographs and a virtual tour of your home.
    • Market the house on approximately 800 websites
    • Multiple Listing Service (MLS) (140,000+ Realtors®  throughout Florida)
    • Social Media Reach : Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.
    • Featured Property on (, with 50,000 visitors each month.
    •, Zillow and Trulia placement.

Things that I promise during your home sales process.

  • Be responsive-always return calls and emails.
  • Advise you along the journey.
  • Be honest and trustworthy.


How to Buy a Home With No Money Down (You Really Can!) By Daniel Bortz | Feb 3, 2017

Drumming up money for a down payment on a home can feel like a lost cause: After you’ve shelled out money for rent, gas, groceries, and other expenses, you might have little or nothing left over. Which may have you fantasizing: Is there some secret out there, somewhere, that could show you how to buy a home with no money down?
Believe it or not, it’s not just a pipe dream.
First, some background: Home buyers who apply for a mortgage are typically advised to put down at least 20% of the price of the home. With the national median home price hovering around $240,900, that ends up being $48,180. Ouch! Yet an overwhelming 69% of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings, according to a recent survey by To these people, buying a home may seem woefully out of reach.

USDA loans

In an effort to fill underpopulated areas of the U.S., the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development office provides mortgages with down payments as low as 0%. The catch? These loans are offered only in towns with populations of 10,000 or less. Still, 10,000 is quite sizable for most towns, so 97% of the U.S. is covered. So don’t write it off until you check whether the area you’re eyeing (or something nearby) qualifies at
USDA loans also go to those who qualify as having low or moderate income. But there’s a whole lot of wiggle room in the words “moderate income,” too. In areas near San Francisco (yes, USDA loans are offered there), an individual making $141,000 is considered “moderate income.”

Credit unions

Credit unions—nonprofit banking cooperatives—often offer mortgages to members requiring a low or no down payment. To qualify, you’ll typically need to have a good credit score and earn less than 80% of the area’s median income, but those requirements can really run the gamut.
Case in point: Recently, the San Francisco Federal Credit Union offered 100% financing on homes worth up to $2 million to borrowers whose incomes could be as high as $219,000 per year.

VA loan

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ loan program, which began with the creation of the GI Bill of 1944, gives active or retired military—or a veteran’s surviving spouse—the opportunity to purchase a home with no money down.
VA loans also offer attractive interest rates, because they’re not based on a borrower’s credit score, says Katie Miller, vice president of mortgage lending at Navy Federal Credit Union. Given these perks, a VA loan is often your best mortgage option—if you qualify.
“Requirements are fairly stringent,” says Miller. VA lenders are typically looking for a credit score of 620, and every VA purchase loan requires a special appraisal, which includes the valuation of the property and a close check of the home’s condition. Consequently, some homes are not eligible, although plenty are—it just means you may have to choose wisely.

Navy Federal loan

Speaking of credit unions and the military, the Navy Federal Credit Union offers 100% financing (read: no money down) to qualified members. Eligibility is restricted to members of the Department of Defense and Coast Guard active-duty, civilian, and contractor personnel and their families. As you might have noticed, a Navy Federal mortgage is almost identical to a VA loan; the main difference is that Navy loans have slightly higher interest rates.

Down payment assistance

Depending on your credit score and income, you could qualify for one of over 2,200 down-payment assistance programs nationwide, which help out home buyers with low-interest loans, grants, and tax credits. As Jonathan Smoke, chief economist of®, explained, “Consumers do not know about these programs, and those that do assume it’s more difficult to get than it is.”
Granted, you may still need some money for a down payment, but much less than you’d think: Home buyers who use down-payment assistance programs save an average of $5,965 upfront at the down payment stage, and $11,801 in monthly house payments over the life of the loan.
To find down-payment assistance programs, you can search by checking your state on the Department of Housing and Urban Development website or using Bank of America’s recently launched database of local programs.
Bottom line: No one should write off their dreams of homeownership purely because they can’t fathom coming up with a down payment. There’s always hope, so don’t write your options off until you check into them. Who knows? You might end up pleasantly surprised.

Daniel Bortz is a Realtor in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC, who has written for Money magazine, Entrepreneur magazine, CNNMoney, and more.

Bortz, D. (Feb. 3, 2017) “How to buy a home with no money down (You really can)” Retrieved from


In October of 2016, I got to take one of those wonderful life events, traveling to another country Ukraine. This country has so many beautiful views and traditions, I believe that it is one of the worlds hidden gems. While I was only  there for  a week, I got to see many beautiful places along with meeting the most wonderful and amazing woman, whom I hope will be my future wife. So it is with my greatest pleasure to introduce My girlfriend Anna.

I learned that the beautiful city that I visited Nikolaev, is also the true birth place of Saint Nicholas (Santa Claus).

Help to Purchase

This home I helped one of my customers purchase in August, 2016. A little about this home:

Spacious 4/2 family home on triple corner lot close to restaurants and shopping, plus convenient access to Fort Myers. Features hurricane impact resistant windows. Landscaping includes several large palm trees and large yard with plenty of room to add a pool. Priced to let you update cosmetics to your liking. A great value for a large home! All assessments in and paid

Sold in August, 2016

This is a beautiful home that I had the honor of listing. A little about this home :  A spacious 3 bed 2 bath in a quiet neighborhood that will immediately feel like home. Split floor plan with private master suite that includes a separate tub and shower, along with his and her sinks. Two additional guest bedrooms and a full bath are available, as well as an inviting living area. The kitchen is open with an island and an eat in breakfast nook, in addition to a formal dining room with double french doors. Enjoy the great outdoors on your front porch or in your screened in lanai! Beautifully landscaped with lush palm trees, green grass and numerous fruit trees! A two car garage tops it all off.

What Is a VA Guaranteed Home Loan?

       A VA-guaranteed loan is a loan made by private lenders (such as banks, savings & loans, or mortgage companies) to eligible veterans. If you want to purchase a home, condominium or manufactured home, the VA can guarantee up to $417,000 of the total loan — much higher than you can get with most conventional home loans. If you are considering refinancing an existing loan, VA offers you two options. You can either refinance to reduce your current interest rate or you can take equity out (cash-out). The “cash-out” option is limited to $144,000.

       Better yet, there is no need to worry about financing a down payment (the portion of the home purchase price which the buyer pays in cash and does not finance) with a mortgage on a VA loan. However, certain funding fees (the percentage of total home loan paid to the VA at time of loan closing)and closing costs (expenses over and above the price of the property) incurred by buyers and sellers in transferring ownership of a property, aka settlement costs) apply, and you must be able pay a portion of these fees upfront.

     With a VA guarantee, you get a mortgage with a competitive interest rate. The lender you borrow money from is protected against loss up to the amount of the guarantee if you fail to repay the loan, and you have the flexibility to purchase a great home. Visit the Veterans Administration website for the current table of VA Funding Fees and for information on veterans who are exempt (pay zero) from funding fees.

Specifically, a VA home loan can help veterans:

  • Buy a home or residential condominium
  • Build a home
  • Repair, alter or improve a home
  • Refinance an existing home loan
  • Buy a manufactured home with or without a lot
  • Buy and improve a manufactured home lot
  • Install a solar heating or cooling system or other weatherization improvements
  • Purchase and improve a home simultaneously with energy efficient improvements
  • Refinance an existing VA loan to reduce the interest rate
  • Refinance a manufactured home loan to acquire a lot

There are other VA Home Loan Safeguards:

  • The VA may suspend from the loan program those who take unfair advantage of veteran borrowers, or decline to sell a new home or make a loan to an eligible veteran of good credit because of race, color, religion, sex, disability, family status or national origin.
  • The builder of a new home is required to give the purchasing veteran a one-year warranty that the home has been constructed to VA-approved plans and specifications. A similar warranty must be given for new manufactured homes.
  • In cases of new construction completed under VA or HUD inspection, the VA may pay or otherwise compensate the veteran borrower for correction of structural defects seriously affecting livability if assistance is requested within four years of a home loan guaranty.
  • The borrower obtaining a VA loan may only be charged the fees and other charges prescribed by VA as allowable.
  • The borrower can prepay without penalty the entire loan or any part not less than the amount of one installment or $100.
  • The VA encourages holders to extend forbearance if a borrower becomes temporarily unable to meet the terms of the loan.